The Milkmaid and Her Pail Wild, Spectacular, Imaginary Eggs

Milkmaid and her Pail Craft
Imaginary Eggs
Imaginary Eggs

So this was our take for Wild, Spectacular, Imaginary eggs for the fable “The Milkmaid and Her Pail“, the origin of “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”


  • Wooden eggs sprayed with white primer
  • Rice paper
  • Markers (we used Crayola. Sharpie would also work.)
  • Rubbing alcohol for the grownup
  • Sparkle Mod Podge
  • A small paintbrush you don’t care about
  • Stuff to keep a mess from spreading. We used aluminum foil.

We scribbled splotches on the rice paper sitting on top of foil. The grownup dribbled rubbing alcohol on it.

We waited. And waited. And waited. Finally it dried.

TIP: You could probably skip this step completely if you have some fancy tissue paper in several colors, but then you don’t get to scribble. You can also use hand sanitizer for more control, but part of the fun is watching the colors bloom and learning about the Color Wheel.

We ripped the paper into pieces and decoupaged it onto the eggs with sparkle Mod Podge. Mom will probably go over them with resin while the Youngling sleeps for durability.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Boy Who Cried Wolf
Boy Who Cried Wolf Craft and Playlist
Boy Who Cried Wolf Craft and Playlist

So we’re doing a Child-led Classical Core Unschooling thing, I guess. Anyway, I take a reading topic based on any number of free curricula (or celestial events… or birthdays of famous people) and add things that match for “playing school”. The Boy Who Cried Wolf was the first story in a free Core-based first grade curriculum at It fits in with Classical and the Young Master likes wolves, so here we are.

We read it, answered the plot questions, watched a Cat in the Hat video about a wolf named Grayson, “A Howling Good Time”. (I’d link to Netflix but it’s giving me a Silverlight error, so….) We colored and read wolf and sheep science worksheets from Enchanted Learning. I adapted a Cemrel math lesson from cats and mice to sheep and wolves (It may be the first lesson plan in the first grade file.)

Then I set up a short playlist of different ways the story has been told on You Tube. It includes Muppets. I like Muppets!

We looked at Romulus and Remus art and learned some Latin in here somewhere.

We rewrote The Boy Who Cried Wolf and acted it out with him playing Batman (the townspeople), me playing Robin (the boy), and one of the cats playing a minion of Cat Woman (the wolf) coming to steal our ice cream (sheep).

After that we had art time. The promise of Art Time gets him to concentrate.

Sheep Card Craft
Sheep Card Craft

It’s not hard to figure out. Kraft greeting card, construction paper, googly eyes, cotton balls.

A three-year-old’s attention span being what it is, even though he likes “playing school” like Daniel Tiger, this took two days at 15-minutes to a half-hour here and there. That’s cool with me because the theme days are much more fun for both of us than filling in a stack of humorless worksheets. And we end up with a card to send to his grandparents!

Recycled Celery Experiment, Part 1

This summer we decided to experiment with kitchen scrap gardening. These are two celery scraps from the same package, each cut an inch from the root. We used organic because it’s more likely to grow.

On May 13, we put one in a shallow bowl of water and the other we dipped in rooting hormone and planted in an equal soil mix of presoaked peat, organic compost and citrus/cactus potting mix. We covered it with about a half-inch of the soil mix.

Celery Stumps
Celery Stumps

Celery needs a lot of nutrients and good drainage, so that’s what I came up with from the bags in my garage. I have no idea if that’s proper or not, but I needed something for container gardening. It gets too hot here to grow celery this time of year so it needs to stay on my windowsill to keep it from bolting and turning bitter.

I didn’t think the one put in the soil was going to make it at first because the other one had an inch of leaves in a week, but it looks like the one planted in the soil was putting its initial energy into making roots because it really took off. On the other hand, the articles I read on rooting celery said you should see roots in a week if you put it in a bowl. We decided to give up waiting and gave it some rooting hormone and soil. Hopefully we’re not too late.

This is how they looked June 4.

Celery Stumps
Celery stumps three weeks later.

In theory, if they don’t bolt, you can cut off what you need when you want to eat it, or you can cut off the tops and bury the stumps in a little soil and start over again indefinitely. We may try blanching them with tubes of construction paper later.

Library Story Hour: Recycled Robot

Recycled Robot Reading
Recycled Robot Reading

Bonus homework for the library summer program. The theme is science.

The challenge was to make a robot from a cardboard tube and recycled materials. This is a scratched CD, pieces from a magazine, electrical cord from a rewiring project, aluminum foil and part of a small, plastic bottle.

We added googly eyes and a glow stick, and there are stars punched in its chassis. He didn’t have to be reading, we just thought it would be cute.

Toddler Craft: Peep in the Big Wide World Fan Figure

Peep Toddler Craft

We love the combination of entertainment and scientific activities  on Peep and the Big Wide World (owned by whoever owns it, no endorsement of this fan art is implied, blah-blah-blah). For some time Sagan has wanted his own Peep, so when we came across some 2-inch yellow pom-poms in the discount bin after Easter we brought them home and made ourselves a Peep.

You will need:

  • A yellow pom-pom
  • Black and red craft foam
  • Scissors and a grown-up to cut the foam
  • Double-sided tape (the kind used for wrapping paper)
  • Googly eyes (we bought a bulk pack some time ago)

Cut out a beak, two legs and the comb. They should look something like this:
Parts of Peep

Assembling your Peep:

Put the tape on the back of the eyes and cut around it or fold it over to fit. Have your youngster stick the eyes on.

Putting on Peep's Eyes

Part the fibers of the pom-pom with a thumb where the beak will go. Wrap tape around the end of the beak (double -sided tape molds around craft foam pretty easily). Have your toddler squeeze the fibers onto the beak, then repeat with the comb and legs.
Part the pom0pom fibers with your thumb.

Sit and talk about science!

Finished Peep

Note: You could probably also do this with black pipe-cleaners and red felt, but I didn’t have any.  I’m glad we used the foam in the long run because it turned out cuddly instead of pokey.